Chapter 302 – Serpent
Sun Youdao spoke up, sighing as he said, “Lin Ming became the champion of the Total Faction Martial Meeting, taking first place. He has already become one of the direct disciples of the Seven Profound Valleys…”
“…Champion of the Total Faction Martial Meeting? Direct disciple?” Yang Lin mumbled, the words of Sun Youdao echoing in his mind over and over. He was so shocked that he didn’t know how to react. After all, he knew what this news meant.
In these recent days, Yang Lin had researched everything he could about the Total Faction Martial Meeting. Naturally, he knew just what sort of existence a direct disciple was. The Seven Profound Valleys had four different classifications of disciples. The lowest class were the nominal disciples, followed by the outer court disciples, inner court disciples, and finally the highest, core disciples.
A core disciple was only selected every two Total Faction Martial Meetings, or in other words, every six years. Every faction only had a handful of core disciples, and the one that ranked first among these disciples was the direct disciple!
With seven factions, there would be seven direct disciples. Without a doubt, these seven disciples were all destined to enter into the top ten of the Total Faction Martial Meeting. This was a position that was coveted by every disciple within the Seven Profound Valleys, as the higher rank one was, the more resources they would have to cultivate with.
It could be said that as long as a direct disciple didn’t fall from grace, they had an absolute chance to step into the Xiantian realm.
Within the Seven Profound Valleys, their status was even higher than an outer court elder!
What sort of status did a Seven Profound Valleys elder have? When Ouyang Dihua had run rampant through Sky Fortune City and was able to become the Seven Profound Envoy, that was all because his uncle was an elder who could back him up.
Because of this, even the emperor had to be fully respectful towards Ouyang Dihua, much less Yang Lin.
As a mere crown prince of Sky Fortune Kingdom who was already in an extremely precarious situation, Ouyang Dihua basically hadn’t even bothered with Yang Lin.
“Lin Ming… already has a status equal to an elder…”
Yang Lin gulped. He already thought that Lin Ming would bring back a great gift for him, but he never imagined that it would be something so fantastic.
Total Faction Martial Meeting rank one!
Becoming a direct disciple!
Any one of these was enough to be recorded in the permanent history of Sky Fortune Kingdom. Who had ever heard of a disciple of the 36 countries becoming a direct disciple? Who had ever imagined a disciple of the 36 countries becoming the champion of the Total Faction Martial Meeting? Let alone the champion, there hadn’t even been one who had ever reached the top five!
It wasn’t only Yang Lin, but Qin Xiao, the great generals, and every other martial artist were all completely choked. As martial artists, they understood just how profound and deep this news was.
It meant that sooner or later, Lin Ming would become a Xiantian master.
A Xiantian master.
To those mortals, those were figures that only existed in legends.
For a time, silence fell over the entire square; there was only the sound of the cold, icy wind, and the fluttering of ribbons.
Yang Ling opened his mouth to speak several times but couldn’t say anything, unable to calm down the turbulent waves that rolled through his heart. If Lin Ming had become a direct disciple, even if Yang Lin just got a little help, just a little, then let alone if he was the current crown prince, even if he was a bastard son that no one had ever seen before, he would still be able to sit upon Sky Fortune Kingdom’s throne!
Thinking this, Yang Lin almost burst into tears. For how many years had he been uneasy, skittish, unable to eat or sleep with peace? Once the throne was seized by someone else, then he, his mother, his younger sister, all would be beyond redemption!
The only ending to that path was death.
As Qin Ziya saw Yang Lin’s excitement, he smiled and said, “Lin Ming is still at the Seven Profound Valleys. There are many matters he must still attend to, such as receiving the rewards and also some joint talent training program he needs to participate in. After that, he will decided which faction he wishes to join. Therefore we came back first.”
As Qin Ziya spoke, Sun Youdao laughed, “Lin Ming is a treasure that every major faction wants to steal! Especially the Sword Faction and Acacia Faction, I heard that they are already heavily quarreling over him!”
There were many major factions that wanted Lin Ming to become their direct disciple?
Yang Lin let out a heavy breath. Although he wasn’t surprised, listening to Sun Youdao say this was still incomparably shocking.
At this time, behind Yang Lin, the reporters for the government newspaper sprang into action. They rubbed their hands together, warming up, and then excitedly began to write down the news. Such a shocking report would definitely cause major waves through the entire Sky Fortune Kingdom!
In fact, this was true…
The next day, the news that Lin Ming had become the champion of the Total Faction Martial Meeting spread throughout all of Sky Fortune City, rapidly propagating through the entire country.
Within the Seven Profound Martial House, all of the old and new disciples were excitedly discussing these events. That these individuals could share a Martial House that Lin Ming had once been a part of was already a matter to be very proud about. Dozens of years later, or even hundreds of years later, they could proudly boast to their descendants and say, “Hehe, that year, when your grandfather was young, he was once a fellow disciple to a Xiantian master!”
Especially those young female apprentices who had just recently entered and converted to Linmaniacs; to them, Lin Ming was their highest idol, their supreme crush, their dreamy sweetheart!
Far away in Green Mulberry City, the Lin Family had also received this news.
At this time, the Lin Family had been busy with New Year celebrations.
The holidays at the end of the year were the grandest occasion within Sky Fortune Kingdom. The emperor had to offer sacrifices to the heavens and receive all the officials of other countries. All of the other aristocratic families had to slaughter animals in worship at New Year’s, and hold lengthy and cumbersome ceremonies.
The Lin Family was one of the top ranked families in Green Mulberry City. Naturally, they were not exempt from this.
But after they obtained the news that Lin Ming had become the champion of the Total Faction Martial Meeting, and had even become a direct disciple who would be a Xiantian master in the future, the entire Lin Family was seething in excitement.
This meant that for the next few centuries, the Lin Family would thrive, and even become one of the top ranked families within Sky Fortune Kingdom!
Thinking this, the Lin Family head couldn’t help but cackle in glee. Every Lin Family servant obtained a thick red envelope packed with money. Naturally, every servant knew just why they were given this red envelope, and all of them spoke about the legendary young master of the Lin Family.
But during this year’s New Year’s ceremony, the Lin Family also paid a massive price. They put out an entire two years of income: 80,000 gold taels, to hold an unprecedented ancestral worship ceremony. The banquet had 160 tables and lasted for nine whole days. All of the heroes around were invited, as well as everyone else who mattered!
However, what was surprising was that after this nine day banquet, the gift money they had received actually totaled to 150,000 gold taels! Many of the families that the Lin Family couldn’t match up to had actually sent their direct descendant juniors to join the Lin Family festivities and offer great amounts of money as a present.
But they were still a bit disappointed. No matter which great family came and wished to greet Lin Ming’s parents, they were unable to. It seemed that the couple had already left the Lin Family, their whereabouts unknown…
This was only a minor matter. But still, there were some people who were sensitive to such things, that felt as if there was some hidden crisis within the jubilant festivities…
The day on which Qin Ziya returned was also the same day that the Tenth Prince, Yang Zhen, obtained the news. He spent an entire two days in his room, and after coming out, he appeared haggard as if he had instantly aged ten years.
In a battle for the throne, one either emerged as the ultimate glorious victor, or they fell to the pits of hell. At this time, Yang Zhen no longer had any paths left to walk. If he ascended to the throne, he would not forgive Yang Lin. If Yang Lin ascended to the throne, he wouldn’t be forgiven.
By relying on the Zhu Family, that moment when they had offended Lin Ming was the worst move he had taken in his life. But what was done was done – there was no more room for regret.
Now, he was at end of his path. To him, there was only one last move he could make in this chess game…
This move wouldn’t necessarily allow him to revitalize his fading hopes, but if he didn’t do it, then he would absolutely die.
Late at night, Yang Zhen put on a thick, black cloak, and while escaping the attention of everyone, entered the Seven Profound Envoy’s mansion.
This was where Ouyang Dihua had once lived. After Ouyang Dihua had died, Ouyang Boyan had come to Sky Fortune Kingdom. Afterwards, he had lived here. Maybe it was because he wanted to see the place where his nephew had last lived and look for some clues.
Ouyang Boyan had investigated for an entire month, but ended up with no clues, or even a trace of a hint. Ouyang Boyan rarely went out, and he hadn’t yet left Sky Fortune Kingdom.
In accordance to the circumstances of the murder, the one that killed Ouyang Dihua had to be someone with at least a Xiantian cultivation. Otherwise, it was impossible to silently kill Ouyang Dihua under the protection of several bodyguards, and then quietly slip away.
Ouyang Boyan believed that in all likelihood, this killer had come for him. However, Ouyang Dihua had died merely as collateral damage. The reason he stayed at Sky Fortune Kingdom’s Seven Profound Envoy mansion was to wait for this killer to come to him so that he could take his revenge.
However, he waited and waited, all the way until he received the news that Lin Ming had become the champion of the Total Faction Martial Meeting.
“Yang Zhen greets Elder Ouyang!” Yang Zhen kneeled on both knees and bowed in respect. Normally, martial artists didn’t care much or follow the regulations and customs of mortals and kingdoms. Even if they saw Shi Zongtian, they wouldn’t bow on both knees. But Yang Zhen actually did so. This was obviously showing how respectful and devoted he was.
“Yang Zhen?” Ouyang Boyan opened his eyes to glance at Yang Zhen, “What are you here for?”
“Elder Ouyang, after Mister Ouyang Dihua died, I had some suspicions I wanted to voice, but I don’t know whether or not I should speak…”
Ouyang Boyan suddenly slyly smiled and said, “You suspect it was Lin Ming?”
Yang Zhen’s heart went cold, but this wasn’t too surprising. He calmly said, “Two months before Mister Ouyang Dihua died, he had a conflict with Lin Ming.”
What Yang Zhen had said, Ouyang Boyan certainly knew. Of course, a mere conflict wouldn’t necessarily become a matter worth killing over. Most importantly, at that time, Ouyang Boyan didn’t think that Lin Ming had the capabilities.
If Lin Ming knew some sort of special technique, and he also had the help of a master from Divine Phoenix Island, then there was a high chance that he had killed Ouyang Dihua while he was under the protection of many guards.
At this time, Yang Zhen also said, “Elder Ouyang, I already received some additional news. After Qin Ziya returned to Sky Fortune City, he secretly visited Lin Ming’s parents and transferred them somewhere else. My guess is that Lin Ming had entrusted Qin Ziya with this matter…”
“Is that right?” Ouyang Boyan’s lips curved down in a grim scowl. If he was just guessing before, then now listening to Yang Zhen’s words, killing intent had already moved into his heart. Within the entire Sky Fortune Kingdom, Ouyang Boyan was the only one who could make Lin Ming fear so much. If he wasn’t guilty, then why would he do this?
In terms of strength, Ouyang Boyan naturally surpassed Lin Ming by a great margin. But in terms of status, he was in truth far inferior to Lin Ming. Lin Ming wasn’t just some ordinary direct disciple, but according to news from Qin Ziya and the Seven Profound Valleys, he had familiar but unclear relations with the top fourth-grade sect, Divine Phoenix Island.
Compared to Lin Ming, Ouyang Boyan’s influence was much weaker. He wasn’t someone who would desperately seek Lin Ming for revenge at the cost of his own life just to get revenge for his nephew.
He would patiently bear this for now, and wait for an opportunity to quietly kill Lin Ming. Then once he discovered where Lin Ming’s parents were, he would kill them too, and the secretly wipe out the Lin Family! Only in this manner would the hate in his heart be assuaged!